A website audit is an ideal approach to increase the performance of a blog or site that already has a large audience. However, sometimes we take on too many commitments that we forget to follow up on existing projects to determine their performance. Your website may be one of those projects that have been neglected and forgotten, despite having immense potential. It’s considerably easier to enhance your winning strategies on pre-existing traffic on static sites than it is to begin from the ground up. That’s where website auditing comes into play. Yet you may wonder, what is a website audit, and why is it important? This article will answer these questions and provide you with some examples of what a website auditing checklist consists of.
The Importance of a Website Audit
The importance of website auditing cannot be undermined. On the contrary, it can become your most helpful tool for developing strategies that will benefit you the most in terms of SEO and overall performance. When it comes to site accountability, there are many benefits associated with running a website audit:
- You get insights into how users view your website pages
- Find out if Google is indexing your pages or not
- Identify broken links on the website and get rid of them
- Improve user experience by fixing every detail that could be improved upon to make it more efficient for users to navigate the website.
How to Audit Your Website: A Website Audit Checklist
There are many ways you can conduct a site audit, but the best way is to follow a systematic process. The following steps will help you conduct a website audit effectively.
Now that we have answered your “what is a website audit” query, your next question would probably be “how to perform a content audit” or “what is a website auditing checklist?”
To answer your question, here is a step-by-step guide on the website auditing checklist.
Ensure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly
Mobile SEO is becoming indispensable due to the increase in mobile phone use. Interestingly, 60% of Google searches are made on mobile devices since most people use mobile phones compared to other devices. Furthermore, Google also uses its Mobile-First Algorithm. This means you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool to know if your site is mobile-friendly. Therefore, you can discover whether or not your site is mobile-optimized simply by inputting its URL into the tool.
Ensure Your Site Is Indexed
You may have several versions of your site’s URLs, such as:
While these URLs may appear the same, they are entirely different, and Google may consider them separate sites and not one site. As such, your site may not be indexed appropriately. The best thing to do is to type each of these URLs into your browser. Then, Google should redirect you to the same site from where you’ll establish that they are all indexed.
Boost Your Site’s Speed
Did you know that a site’s loading speed boosts its ranking? Well, it does! Making it a component of a website technical audit that you must consider. Here’s how to speed up your site’s loading speed:
- Clean up your site’s HTML code. For this, you can use PageSpeed Insights.
- Analyze the most important or popular pages on your site, such as services pages, blog pages, etc.
- Conduct a speed test. For this, use WebPageTest.org or GTMetrix.
- Crunch up your images using Kraken or a similar tool.
Locate and Fix Indexing Problems
Find out if there are pages that are not indexing on Google. Use Google Console to search out Index Coverage reports. You can also use an SEO tool called Screaming Frog, which crawls your site just as effectively as Google and shows you the pages it cannot access.
Check Your Organic Traffic
It’s essential to determine how much traffic your site is attracting. To do this:
- Go to Google Analytics, go to Acquisition >> All traffic>> Channels.
- Click “Organic Search.”
- Your search results will be shown.
Next, go back to the last 6-8 months.
After that, you’ll see whether you’re getting a substantial amount of traffic and whether you’re on the correct path. These are crucial aspects of an SEO website audit.
Boost Your On-Page SEO
There’s no doubt the importance of on-page SEO. Even if you may not have the capacity to optimize each page on your site, you can identify at least five of the most important pages. These pages can either rank well, attract substantial traffic, or target critical keywords. Once done, here’s how to optimize these pages:
- Identify a primary or focus keyword for each page
- Include the keyword in the title tag
- Include the keyword in the first 100-150 words
- Incorporate at least five external links and five internal links
- Add relevant LSI keywords
- Use SEO optimization tools to optimize each page accordingly.
Establish A Keyword Rank Tracking
The next step is tracking how you rank on SERPS. For this, you can use SEMrush or any other rank tracking software. However, SEMrush has unique features that find your target keywords automatically.
Work On Your Backlinks
Backlinks are a critical aspect of website auditing. They also play a crucial role in your site’s ranking than any other aspect of your website. Therefore, when performing a website audit, backlinking takes center stage. Here’s how to do it:
Use a reliable backlinking tool such as Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, or Moz Pro. These will give you feedback on the status of its links. Next, check out the number of external sites you are linking to called referring domains. Then, check out your Domain Authority to ascertain the level of authority your site retains based on the quality of content on your site.
Fix Broken Links
Broken links kill user experience and are bad for SEO. If your site has broken links, here’s how to fix them when conducting a website audit. First, find broken links which Google failed to index – use Google Search Console’s Index Report for this). Next, find other internal or external broken links using Ahrefs or Broken Link Check. Both can help you fix all broken links much faster.
Analyze Your Competitor Sites
Now it’s time to do a little spying on your competitors. To achieve this, consider the following steps:
- Research your competitors best performing keywords (SEMrush or Ahrefs can help with this)
- Check out which pages are ranking for those keywords
- Determine why those pages rank above the rest. This will help you know which content to focus on.
- Find out which resources those pages link to by pasting a link into Ahrefs. This will help you understand the primary sources that influence your competitors’ ranking.
Boost Your Content
Having already SEO-optimized your most vital pages, now you should focus on improving content on those pages. In other words, make them ten times better. Here’s how to boost your SEO content ranking in 2021:
- Use the short, sweet, and precise introduction
- Write short paragraphs
- Use lots of subheaders to help readers scan your content
- Incorporate high-quality photos and videos
Design/ UX Audit
Google’s primary ranking AI is called RankBrain. RankBrain is responsible for analyzing how visitors interact with your site. Therefore, you need to optimize your site for UX signals to rank better on Google. Simply put, your site’s content should excite users for Google to rank you. So the goal should be to ensure you answer user queries as relevant as possible.
Restructure Your Website Architecture
Your site’s architecture consists of all pages that have been optimized and organized. It is a crucial aspect of your site’s SEO as it helps search engines locate and index your site much quicker. However, if your site’s architecture isn’t properly organized, it’s going to give Google a hard time finding or indexing it.
Moreover, the same architecture shows search engines which page in your site to give the most priority. The idea is to keep your site’s architecture flat. In other words, keep other crucial pages as close to your homepage as possible and add internal links to these pages, positioning them strategically to the sidebar. The idea is to improve the UX audit with just three clicks to different pages.
Launch a Catchy Post
The last step to doing an effective website SEO audit is creating and publishing catchy content for your site. This piece of content will enable Google to locate and index the changes you’ve made to your site.
This is often called skyscraper content. It can improve any of your previous posts where you write about the same topic but makes the skyscraper content ten times better. This will help accelerate the crawling and indexing of your site.
Finally, consider promoting your site or post. When your site receives consistent Traffic, Googlebot will crawl all the audits made to it. You can promote your site in multiple ways; for instance, you can send regular newsletters to your subscribers via email. Alternatively, you can post links on your site’s Twitter handle, make Facebook posts on your site’s Facebook page or Linkedin, and incorporate links to it.
Run Your Own Site Audit
So there, you have it — a quick how-to audit a website and our very own website audit checklist!
Remember, boosting your traffic and maximizing your wins with a static or low-performing site is much better than starting all over again. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about ranking your site or optimizing your content.